Ischia is probably the least most talked about island unofficially part of the Amalfi coast experience. Italians know it well, flocking to it every summer as their vacation of choice. Plenty of Europeans know it, also arriving en mass in thongs when the centigrade passes 30. But out of Europe, Ischia is rarely mentioned. Capri, Sicily, Elba, Sardinia…but no one ever talked to me about Ischia. I even managed to miss pronounce it right up until we basically arrived as no one knew to correct me.
When planning the previous leg of our Italian adventure we knew we were going to have a blind spot of about 3-4 days somewhere between Le Marche and the Amalfi coast. Thinking of the drive back to Amalfi, we didn’t particularly want to head too far north, and hence Florence, which is approximately west of Le Marche seemed like a good middle of the road option, and, offered the promise of a more intimate Italian city experience than Rome.
We were travelling by car, and being typical tourist drivers were keen to avoid what we had described to us as the ‘traffic hell’ of downtown Florence, which meant some careful thought as to how to leave and stow our charming Fiat. We decided that staying outside of Florence was a good bet, and quickly stumbled upon the charming Validrose BnB about 20 minutes from the heart of Florence.
Well, that’s the number one question friends have asked us when we describe our trip to Italy. The Marche region lies on the east coast of Italy, between the Apennine Mountains and the Adriatic Sea. So if you drive from Rome towards Umbria and hang a right just before Florence, you’ll pass through Le Marche on your way to the coast.
What you’ll find is a region comparably ‘untouched’, borrowing the best of Umbria’s rolling hills and juxtaposing it with a long coastline of white sandy beaches and fortified coastal cities.
*Sigh* even weeks later, I still feel a hint of that warm Italian summer air.
Mark had never been to Italy, but I had many years ago. I thought I knew what to expect, but honestly, even retreading old footsteps felt like a new experience with perfect weather and a husband to share it with.
So it’s been a little while and look there goes 2016 and January!
My last blog post was at the beginning of December, which for me, was really the beginning of winding down for the year and the official start of our summer break, hence the hiatus.
When choosing where to stay for our summer break, I only had two simple requests – somewhere warm and with ocean views. Not much to ask is it?
Well, we were not disappointed with our choice when we arrived at our AirBnB on the stunning shores of Belongil Beach, Byron Bay. Writing this post I almost didn’t want to reveal where we stayed because it felt like I’d be giving away Byron Bay’s best-kept secret.